Although the San Francisco 49ers seventh round pick of Carter Bykowski might have surprised some, maybe it shouldn’t have.
Bykowski was a part of Iowa State’s 2008 recruiting class. He was listed as a 6-foot-7, 245-pound tight end on signing day. He played that position (catching three passes) for a bit but soon outgrew the position and moved to tackle.
Jim Harbaugh, the 49ers head coach, likes tight ends or at least big, athletic players.
As Stanford’s coach, Harbaugh gave scholarships to six tight ends in four seasons. All of them were between 6-4 and 6-8 and weighed roughly 235 pounds.
“I didn’t think I would be drafted,” Bykowski said. “The phone rang and I talked to Jim Harbaugh and (line coach) Mike Solari. It was a short conversation but they were very positive and I am looking forward to working in their system.”
Big guys, who can move, are desired by everyone in the NFL. That’s how Bykowski earned his shot.
In 25 years in the sports publicity business, I worked with three recruited college tight ends that had pro careers on the offensive line.
The most noteworthy was John Alt, a 12-year veteran and two-time Pro Bowl pick for the Chiefs. Chris Gambol (Iowa) and Mike Verstegen (Wisconsin) both played four years in the National Football League for multiple teams after beginning college careers at TEs.
Bykowski’s pick might have caught a few folks off guard. But, when you study his profile and potential – along with the desires of his new head coach – it’s clear he has a great opportunity in the coming months.